Following a statement released by Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited [BASL], operator of the Murtala Muhammed Airport 2, is justified in its claim of 36 years validity on the Build-Operate-Transfer concession model of the airport terminal.
FAAN’s reaction which was made available to newsmen through the company’s General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, refuted in strong terms, the allegation of a takeover of the administration of MMA2 from BASL.
Recall that a report had emerged online alleging that a source close to the Ministry of Transport, Aviation Unit, had disclosed that the management of FAAN had been authorized by the Ministry to take over the terminal on the expiration of alleged 12 years consensual agreement between BASL and the agency in May.
In her words, Yakubu, said the agency was not aware of any plans to take over the operations of the MMA2 terminal. She was also quoted to have said that someone might be trying to be mischievous, hence the report.
The agreed extension to 36years was not disclosed, instead the report said the 12-year agreement would expire on May 7, 2019, which was the exact date the terminal commenced operations with flight service by the defunct Chanchangi Airlines.
The report alleged that the planned takeover of the terminal was also causing some instability among the staff members of BASL, who were said to already looking elsewhere for alternative jobs following the threat by the government.
The report also claimed, the Chairman of BASL, Dr. Wale Babalakin, has been making efforts through some of his contacts in the Presidency to frustrate the takeover of the terminal on the due date, claiming that the concession agreement between the two was for 36 years.
Reacting to the report, BASL said the MMA2 concession was valid for 36 years which had yet to expire.
In a statement signed by the spokesperson for Bi-Courtney, Eniola Ade-Solanke, on Tuesday, said, “We will like to set the records straight by stating that Bi-Courtney Limited entered into a concession agreement with the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for the Build, Operate and Transfer of the MMA2 for 36 years.”
According to Bi-Courtney, FAAN offered it a 36-year lease in a letter dated October 12, 2006, and an agreement was duly signed on the February 2, 2007 by the minister of aviation.
It added that the agreement was further confirmed at a meeting held on July 7, 2009 chaired by a former President, the late Umaru Musa Yar’adua.
“The clear provisions of the concession agreement between Bi-Courtney and the government uphold the operation of the MMA2 terminal for an undisputed period of 36 years,” the statement read in part.
“The erroneous claims against the chairman of Bi-Courtney that he is making frantic efforts in the Presidency to frustrate a takeover of the terminal is not unconnected to purported attempts to stir up a false sense of alarm and acrimony against the concession,” it added.
Despite the constant deliberate misinterpretation of the concession agreement by unscrupulous elements aimed at stirring controversies leading to falsehood and fueling animosity between FAAN and BASL, MMA2 remains the most modern, functional and well run privately funded domestic airport terminal in sub- Saharan Africa adjudged the best in Nigeria.
BASL will continue to fulfil its obligations for the full 36year term and will remain a pace setter in the aviation industry and in the promotion of private sector investment critical for economic growth in Nigeria.